Transcription ante - a way to make money from audioblogging, internet radio, and podcasting
I've been writing up a business plan for a new VOIP service that I've been calling "Transconf". I'm discouraged at the state of the market it's in, but encouraged by Richard Branson's philosophy - "The time to get into a business is when it's abysmally run by someone else".
I typed on today, trying to finish the first draft, exploring business models, relatively undaunted by the number of partners I'd have to interface with, the costs of advancing the states of the technologies I wanted to use, the backend costs, the margins, and the quality control issues... I ran the spreadsheet: I needed about 650k to get to beta, and over 12m to get to cash flow positive. Although that latter figure didn't include realistic margins for actual revenue I got kind of discouraged, and went outside for a nicorette. It's hard to think, 24 hours into trying to quit smoking....
An idea dropped out of the sky. It wouldn't take much to develop, and would end up profitable for everybody. I'd drop everything and work on it if I didn't have so much invested in the core ideas of transconf... I still might get to work on this....
as I'm way behind on podcasts, with radio recordings, and on my favorite audio site (IT Conversations
Audio Transcription Antes
: Transcription services have a cost of about $180.00 per hour of recording, even with computer assistance. As Doug Kay points out
, a basic transcription can be had for much less in India.
: Much audio content on the net is not being transcribed, and much of that is not worth being transcribed
: Text information has more value than purely voice information (it's more easily linked to, googled for, reused, etc -)
: If the cost of transcription could be scaled to meet demand, everybody would enjoy metcalfe's law effects in supply and demand for moving voice to text.
The idea is basically - have a service that wraps around any given audio file
that allows writers and readers to ante in on having a transcription of that recording available.
Add a "Transcribe This" button to any given audio feed, and it's rating system. Clicking on that button gives an ebay-like status on how close it is financially to getting transcribed, and allows readers to "ante up" to get it closer to being transcribed. "Transcribe this" could also be built into mp3 players and the like...
When the ante reaches the minimum required to get the recording transcribed, the audio gets sent off to the transcription service, it gets transcribed, the transcription gets emailed to the audio owners and the people that ante'd up (conveying a first mover advantage), and a few days later the transcription can be made public...
... thus lowering the costs of the audio -> text conversion for all...
does that work for anyone? Press? Public? Podcasters? Politicians?